The Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, presided this week in Madrid the award ceremony of the Order of Merit of the National Drugs Plan with a total of 19 decorations: twelve with the White Cross, five Silver Medals and two Gold Medals. The FIIAPP received the silver medal for its work in mobilising public expertise on drugs through EU-funded programmes such as COPOLAD, CADAP and EL PACcTO.
These awards recognise the dedication and trajectory of people and institutions, both public and private, whose efforts have helped to face the challenge of drugs and its consequences. Carolina Darias has had words of recognition for the efforts of “extraordinary people in the constant and silent fight against the challenge of drugs and its consequences”, to protect the most vulnerable population and has expressed her gratitude for the work carried out to achieve a healthier society.
For the director of the FIIAPP, Anna Terrón: “The diversity of the award winners reflects very well what the National Drugs Plan is all about: the sum of efforts to achieve a common good”.
This medal recognises the external action and management of European projects of the FIIAPP, represented by Anna Terrón, and “for its constant dedication to the prevention and control of the illicit trafficking of drugs and narcotics beyond our borders”.
The ceremony also recognised two people posthumously with silver medals: Hermelino Alonso Eiras ‘Lino’, head of the Customs Surveillance Service in Galicia for almost 30 years, and José Luis Domínguez Iborra, aerial observer of the Customs Surveillance Service in Algeciras, who died in the line of duty a year ago, after 42 years of fighting drug trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar. Darias had words of thanks for “their example, commitment and dedication, which have had an incalculable impact on the security and welfare of all, and they have shown us the way forward”.
The two gold medals were awarded to María Azucena Martí Palacios, outgoing Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs, and to the Drug Dependency Prevention and Care Service of the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB), an organisation that has facilitated the creation of environments that favour the development of healthy habits, providing a front-line response to the most pressing needs posed by the pandemic.
The Order of Merit of the National Drugs Plan was created at the request of the Congress of Deputies in 1995, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the approval of the National Plan on Drugs. Darias stressed that “today, 27 years after its creation, we continue to comply with the mandate of the Courts, thanking the work and spirit of cooperation of our professionals and, especially, in the face of the challenges that drugs continue to pose in our country”, especially “at critical times when the pandemic made it even more difficult to protect those affected and aggravated situations of risk”.
The ceremony was attended by the Secretary of State, Silvia Calzón, the Chief Prosecutor of the Anti-Drugs Prosecutor’s Office, Rosa Morán Martínez, the delegate of the National Drugs Plan, Joan R. Villalbí and Mª Carmen Sanz Iribarren, Deputy Director General of Management of the Government Delegation for the PNSD, who read out the Order of Awarding the different decorations for Merit of the National Drugs Plan.